Qatar predicts 7% growth in 2015
DOHA - Qatar's economy is predicted to grow by seven per cent in 2015, as it forges ahead with huge infrastructure investment despite the slump in oil prices, leading economists said Wednesday.
The figure compares with estimated growth of 6.5 percent for 2014.
The Qatar National Bank's "Economic Insight" predicted even higher growth rates of 7.5 percent for 2016 and 7.9 percent for 2017 in the gas-rich Gulf state.
"Qatar is well-positioned to withstand the temporary decline in oil prices due to its strong macroeconomic fundamentals," the QNB report said.
"With substantial financial resources, Qatar has ample external and fiscal buffers to continue implementing its ambitious investment programme.
"The temporary decline in oil prices is expected to have a minor impact on the economy," it added.
The investment programme includes not only preparations for the 2022 football World Cup but also projects such as a $36 billion (32 billion euro) metro network for Doha and a nearly $2 billion sewerage system.
Qatar has set in place a "National Vision 2030" project, which will see spending continue past the World Cup to create an economy that will deliver a "high standard of living for all its people".
The continued spending will also mean an increase in population as new jobs are created in construction and other sectors.
Earlier this month it was announced that Qatar's population has exceeded 2.3 million for the first time and is expected to grow further.